Well it is almost fall here in central Indiana. The leaves are beginning to turn on the silver maples and the corn is drying on the stalks. Soon we'll go picking in the pumpkin patch and start planning our Halloween costumes! Autumn is also the return of evening tea and board games around our house. I recently finished this mug jacket to not only keep my favorite mug warmer longer for those late night game marathons, but make one more item in my house covered in a cozy yarn jacket!
We've had a wet and mild summer this year which has had many home gardeners producing bumper crops! My sister's garden was overrun with tomatoes, peppers, and pumpkins. She also has a crabapple tree that was almost falling over under the weight of the fruit on its branches. My neighbor had a pear tree overflowing with fruit, and didn't know what to do with it. So... my sister and I spent 12 hours Saturday night making cinnamon crabapple syrup, sugar free pear jelly, honey pumpkin butter, and corn and black bean salsa.
We had a ton of fun and put away lots of food for the winter: 12 quarts of salsa, 8 pints of crabapple syrup, 6 pints of pumpkin butter, and 10 pints of pear jelly. We'll be set in the sweet department for a while! I found out Monday that the salsa makes an excellent soup base for chicken tortilla soup - just added 2 cans of chicken broth and boiled chicken - delish!
One thing we did not can is my jellybean tomatoes, which are still coming in at about a quart or more a week. They don't last long enough in our house to have any leftover for canning. I will be so sad when they finally stop producing... what will I have to fill that early afternoon sweet craving?! Maybe the sugar free pear jelly on home made whole wheat toast or honey pumpkin butter on warm corn bread. Ok, so maybe moving on to fall and winter isn't such a bad thing!